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The New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors is welcoming measures proposed by the government’s Construction Sector Accord.

President Barry Calvert says the Accord seeks to address many of the issues plaguing the sector, and about which the Institute has been lobbying for some time.


He says issues like increasing productivity, improving business resilience and more transparent procurement are particularly important.


“The sector desperately needs to get those right,” Calvert said. “And our hope is that the focus does not just settle on to housing, but also impacts right across the commercial building and infrastructure sectors as well.”


“The Government is one of the biggest clients and influencers in the sector, so it is really pleasing to finally see our public servants making themselves accountable to collaborate with private business.”


Calvert says risk transfer has become an increasingly significant issue over the last two to three years and the situation has reached inequitable levels and puts significant and unsustainable pressure on the contracting parties.


Experienced contractors face the dilemma of remaining competitive whilst having to make monetary allowances for the risks they see in the tender documents.


“We have all seen the painful and costly consequences,” he said.


The Institute also supports the introduction of a whole of life cost approach that favours long-term value over cheapest cost.


“As quantity surveyors, our job is to identify and manage construction budgets and we often see decisions being made that prioritise immediate cost reductions over “best for project” outcomes. 

“While it’s understandable in a way, it is short-sighted thinking that has led to many of the quality and water-tightness issues we see in both the commercial and residential building sectors.

“I’m hopeful this Accord will put those days well and truly behind us.”


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